Ed's Reviews > The Careful Use of Compliments

The Careful Use of Compliments by Alexander McCall Smith
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Aug 20, 10

bookshelves: 3-and-a-half-stars, guilty-pleasure, 2010, part-of-a-series, read-on-kindle
Read from August 14 to 19, 2010

I always say these Alexander McCall Smith books are review-proof, especially if you are on the 4th book of a series, as is the case with The Careful Use of Compliments. I had read the 3rd book earlier this year and had not intended to pick up this one quite yet, but I had just come off such a mentally taxing read that I really need the light and fluff of McCall Smith to do what I call a cleanse of my literary palette. Normally, I would have switched off with the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series, but I was so surprised by the turn of events in Isabel Dalhousie's life at the end of The Right Attitude For Rain that I was anxious to see where things picked up.

I thought this was a quite good installment with one of the better "mysteries" of the series and was relieved that the series didn't "jumped the shark" as I fear it might have given the new character in the book. At the risk of being repetitive, I find these books to be reliably pleasant and a great diversion from more serious reading. In browsing reviews here, I saw the book called "meandering" and while it was meant as a negative criticism, I find it to be one of the strengths of the series and McCall Smith in general... a chance to slow down and enjoy the proverbial journey over the destination.
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